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  • Writer's pictureThe Bridge Burford

Coronavirus Diary Part 1


Updated 8 May 2020

Barns Lane Residents Celebrate VE Day

A number of the residents of Barns Lane in Burford pulled out all the stops to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, despite the lockdown. They decorated their houses with a variety of flags and bunting and played appropriate music ranging from Land of Hope and Glory to Daisy, Daisy, Give Me Your Answer Do. They were then able to refresh themselves in their front gardens while maintaining social distancing. Some images are below.

BTC Online Meeting

Burford Town Council will be holding its next meeting via Zoom. As council meetings are open to the public, this means that you can if so inclined watch the meeting from the comfort of your own home. The meeting will be on Wednesday 6 May at 7pm. If you wish to be connected to it, you should email

West Oxfordshire District Council is also going to meet online. A meeting of the full council will be held on 13 May with members ‘attending’ via a dedicated video conferencing facility. Members of the public will also be able to follow the proceedings through a broadcast on Facebook Live.

The associated documents can be viewed here:

Anyone wishing to access the meeting on the day should go to on the day and follow the link. Assuming the meeting is conducted successfully, it will be followed by the Lowlands Area Planning Sub-Committee meeting on 26 May.

Residents asked not to light bonfires during COVID-19 pandemic

West Oxfordshire District Council has seen a major increase in complaints about bonfires in the last few weeks and is calling on residents to be more considerate of those with respiratory conditions and people in self-isolation.

They say: "Burning doesn’t just affect the vulnerable. Bonfires and drifting smoke are a nuisance for neighbours wanting to spend time in their gardens or keep windows open. Bonfires can also get out of hand and take up the valuable time and resources of the fire service which may put others at risk during the pandemic. Environmental and Regulatory Services are required to investigate bonfire complaints whilst following guidance and procedures for social distancing. If considered a waste offence or statutory nuisance, it may result in enforcement action and fines."

Bulky waste collections reinstated

The bulky waste service for West Oxfordshire residents is being started again to help residents dispose of larger items. While it is still subject to some restrictions, residents will still be able to arrange for the collection of up to three items per household including furniture, white goods and large electrical items. Currently, no beds, mattresses, sofas or carpets will be collected but the service is subject to ongoing review.

For more information and to book a collection, see:

For gardeners: Many people are spending more time in their gardens during lockdown and some (perhaps most) are trying to grow their own produce. This may not be easy while garden centres are closed, although there has been some pressure for them to be reopened so that we can "dig for victory" and also because gardening has proven benefits for mental health in times of stress. Why should off licences be open when garden centres are closed? Anyway it may help to know that plants, seeds and other supplies for your garden are available online from several local businesses including Burford Gardening Company (, Hickmans ( and Cassington Nurseries (

The Sunday Times reported on 5 April that there is an above average rate of coronavirus in the Cotswolds with 5-6% of the population infected and this has also been observed in other areas with a large number of second home such as the Lake District and Anglesey. This could be related to residents of London or other large cities moving to their second homes and taking the virus with them, although we wonder if this could ever be proved. It is said that there are 1,714 second homes in the Cotswolds. How do they know? And how do they decide what is a first home and what is a second?

The Co-op in Burford is still open and is reasonably well stocked, although this morning there was still no toilet paper or kitchen paper. What is it with toilet paper? Surely there is enough to go round. It is enforcing two metre separation around the shop and at the checkouts so you may have to wait your turn to get in.

Mrs Bumbles is open and is providing hot home cooked meals delivered to the door to order. They say they can also deliver bread, milk, eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese, fresh veg and even a newspaper. Call 01993 822209.

The Carpenters Arms in Fulbrook is offering a wide range of meals (including a Sunday roast) for take away or home delivery. They are also providing wide range of shopping to order. Orders should be placed by 2pm on Wednesdays and will be delivered by 6pm on Thursday to addresses in Fulbrook, Burford and Swinbrook. Collection from the pub may be possible for other addresses. Thanks to Oliver Sharpley for telling us about this.

Jesse Smith, formerly Castles the Butchers, has closed the shop but is delivering orders made in advance. 01285 653352 or We checked the site this morning and the earliest delivery was on 31 March.

The Cotswold Cheese Company were accepting orders but last time we looked they had stopped doing this.

Bakery on the Hill is serving breakfast to take away from 8am to 12.00 noon and is selling various foodstuffs (not just bread). 01993 823898.

Burford News (including the Post Office) is open but is only admitting two customers at a time so you may have to wait outside before going in. As with the Co-op, it makes more sense to go there alone than to turn up mob-handed.

We hope everyone in Burford has received a note from the town council asking for volunteers to help the vulnerable with food shopping and collecting medicine.

The Bridge April edition has been printed and we hope everyone in the area of circulation has received a copy. At the moment we don't know whether the printers will be able to print the May edition. If not, we shall try to put one on line.

Stay healthy and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts.


25 February

Burford School closed for the rest of the week for a deep clean after one pupil reported feeling unwell following a visit to Italy over half term.

10 March

Signs of panic buying. Burford Co-op had run out of toilet paper, hand sanitiser and paracetamol.

A letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York has instructed Church of England to suspend the practice of exchanging the peace by shaking hands or other physical contact during services of Holy Communion. The communion cup will not be shared and communion will be administered in the form of bread or wafers but without wine.

11 March

A friend who wanted to buy digestive biscuits to make the base for a pudding found that they had all sold out. Are they thought to prevent coronavirus? (She used Hobnobs instead).

There was a good turnout for the monthly meeting of The Arts Society Cotswolds in the Warwick Hall, suggesting that most residents are doing their best to carry on as normal.

12 March

The Co-op has restocked toilet paper and paracetamol but there is no hand sanitiser. A notice says that customers are being rationed to three units each. Why three rather than one? But then again, there is nothing to stop the customer going straight back into the shop for a second batch.

16 March

A number of local events planed for coming weeks have been cancelled. Please see a separate page for details. The government announced stricter controls including advice to over 70s and other vulnerable groups to avoid unnecessary social contact.


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